Sweden has its own thriving film industry, the best of which rivals anything done in Hollywood (e.g. Ingemar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander” and the recent Millennium Trilogy films based on the Stieg Larsson books.) And they also have their version of the Oscars, called the Gold Bugs. Instead of a gold statue of Oscar the winners of the Swedish version get a giant reddish looking beetle. The format follows the yearly Hollywood spectacle albeit with Swedish nuances as you shall see. After Mariette finished watching her dog shows on Animal Planet she switched to a random channel and discovered that tonight is the Swedish Oscar Night.
As in Hollywood, others in the industry are presenters in this self-congratulatory show.
There are three nominees in each category and they show clips of the performances.
The suspense is palpable as the envelope is opened. (Really joking here.)
The winner reads a lame acceptance speech. That red thing behind the mic is the gold bug award. Seriously, it is a giant beetle.
The audience applauds appreciatively. And on it goes, category after category.
Notice the informal attire of the man to the nomiee’s left. No tie. One presenter came wearing no jacket at all, just a shirt and trousers. At least it was a long sleeve shirt.
Mariette and Bianca were inspired to get into the act.
This woman won for best documentary. She was wearing Ugg-style boots, leggings, and this loose T-shirt, essentially exercise clothes. The paper hides the tattoo on her right arm. Her speech consisted of support for the government support of filmmaking which prevents commercial interests from infecting the industry here the way it has all but destroyed products coming out of Hollywood which today are 90% computer generated explosions, monsters and car chases. She got rousing applause and deservedly so. You can see her gold bug better in this shot.
The Swedish Gold Bug Awards are wound much less tightly than the Oscars are. Things are much more casual and seemingly naive, but by the time we could not stand to watch any more, I think I figured out what is going on: the Swedish Oscars are a cleverly ironic parody of Hollywood’s show. If Hollywood were to watch the Gold Bug awards, they might get a good look at themselves. In other words, the Gold Bugs are different enough not to be a direct copy but similar enough that one cannot help but see how ridiculous these awards shows are.
In other news, I took the second part of my Swedish test this afternoon after staying up until 5:00 a.m. watching the 49ers fumble away their trip to the Super Bowl. (I probably did better than I expected thanks to a stiff cup of coffee just beforehand.) Still, this team achieved far beyond anyone’s expectations and if Jim Harbaugh is not a unanimous choice for NFL Coach of the Year, then the award has lost all credibility.
Temperatures are getting down to the low 20s tonight and we are due for several bright, clear and cold days. And some more snow by Friday. Keep an eye out for a giant statue of a Snow Dog.